As some of you know, I have been dealing with hypothyroidism since I was treated for Graves Disease in 1998. What I have discovered is there are doctors that can handle the basics of the condition but not many of them are answering the ‘Okay the disease is stabilized but I still feel sick’ side effects. As long as the numbers are within normal according to dated reporting systems, their thinking is there is nothing more medically to be done for the patient.
Over the years, I have learned a lot about hypothyroidism and learned that there are many people out there who are being treated by doctors who do not share the whys and the hows of living with this disease. I am not a medical doctor; I am a person living with hypothyroidism. Recently, I read a book on the subject by Mary Shomon. I knew I found a book that made sense, when I read the following statements:
Who stole my eyebrows?
Where are my cheekbones?
Why is my face bloated and round?
Why do I look like a beached whale?
A study by One Thyroid Foundation of America determined that even though their doctors have determined they are being adequately treated, two-thirds of thyroid patients on medicine still suffer from some of the hypothyroidism symptoms listed below:
- Muscle pain and cramps and bone and joint pain that can be mistaken for arthritis
- Upper body weakness (neck, shoulders, arms; lifting and carrying can be problematic)
- Eyes that are dry, gritty, red, jumpy or bulging with shifting gaze, double, blurred or diminished vision that are sensitive to light
- Flaking or dry/itchy skin
- Dry, brittle hair or hair loss
- Lethargy; fatigue; chronic tiredness; feeling sluggish
- Brain fog (sleepy state; fuzzy feeling; difficult to concentrate, remember, focus)
- Memory loss
- Isolating self
- Feeling cold
- Frequent and heavy menstrual cycles
- Slow pulse and blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Weight gain despite following a low fat / low calorie diet
- Mood swings & depression (feeling down or sad, mistakenly diagnosed as clinically depressed; restlessness; loss of interest in daily activities; becoming forgetful; feeling worthless; loss of libido)
- Lowered immune system; lowered resistance to infections and viruses
- Breathing difficulties with asthma like symptoms (shortness of breath, tightness in chest; feeling as if you need to yawn to get oxygen)
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Edema, puffiness, or swelling (eyes, face, hands, feet)
Many of them blame the above on PMS, Stress, Old age, Depression, or the famous line, “it is all in your head!” So what do you do? Stay tuned. Help is on the way.
Cite: M. Shomon (2000) LIVING WELL WITH HYPOTHYROIDISM: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You That You Need to Know. Harper Resource Publishing, New York.
Next post: Understanding the terms and risk factors of hypothyroidism.